Re: [gnome-db] Re: GRAND MASTER PLAN

Charles Goodwin <charlie xwt org> writes:

> On Thu, 2004-03-11 at 17:16, Josh Sled wrote:
>> Put another way: we should focus on the means by which to describe the
>> data so AbiWord _and_ Gnumeric can use it with as little data-lossage as
>> possible, and the user can use the one best suited for their task.
> I would hope that there would be no such "data-lossage" simply by using
> different targets for presenting data.  We're not Microsoft, y'know. 
> Lossage really isn't acceptable.

I'm not so sure about that, see below.

> I do agree that we should be looking at going either to AbiWord or to
> Gnumeric, or to any target application that provides the right hooks for
> a report generator to use.
> Is there anything like a 'report data exchange' standard?

A general, in som sence complete (supporting complex data types and so
on), 'report data exchange' standard might exist. But I don't think it
would be something you could build a good user interface around.

Instead you have simple formats (like CSV) or complex domain specific
ones (standards for financial data exists).

You could look at XML as beeing 'report data exchange'
standard. Imagine building a graphical user interface for importing
any XML file to AbiWord and Gnumeric. For that to be usable it would
be very complex and therefore unusable to most people.

My conclusion is that beyond being able to import things like CSV
(which Gnumeric already can of course) you want to build domain
specific user interfaces for generating documents from more complex
data. These interfaces could use the available APIs (which might need
extensions, I don't know anything about that).

For the people building these interfaces it would of course be nice
with standardised APIs for document creation. I don't know of any
standards for that. DOM (citing "allow programs and scripts to
dynamically access and update the content, structure and style of
documents". Creation of documents is not supported though.

                - Mårten
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